Here’s our setup:
- Mac Pro for Pro-Presenter and video editing.
- Mac-Mini for Keynote.
- Mac Mini for Pro-Presenter on the center screen.
We could run ProPresenter and Keynote on the same machine, but splitting up the tasks opens up another slot for volunteers to get plugged in (this was Randy Parker’s idea… and it’s a great one).
I got the Mac Pro last summer for $2,000 from the Apple Refurb shop. We added a HD that we had laying around, plus 8 GB of RAM from Crucial (total RAM is now 9 GB)
We just purchased the Mac Mini’s from the Apple Store through our Willow Creek membership. Adding iWork plus expedited shipping (with my discount) ran me about $600 per machine, then I bumped up the RAM to 4GB for about $60 per machine (I got the RAM from Crucial). FYI… you need the NEW Mini’s to run ProPresenter. Only the new Mini’s support dual screens.
In the past we have used PowerPoint, MediaShout, and EasyWorship for lyric projection. Of them, I liked EasyWorship the best. It was very flexible and rarely crashed (unlike my experience with MediaShout). If we were still in a PC environment, this is what I would use for lyric projection.
However, ProPresenter is exceptional. It is easy to use, has not crashed once, imports native Photoshop files, and looks great. Additionally, Keynote is amazing in terms of its easy of use and sheer beauty. It has PowerPoint beat in that area hands down.
Basically, if you’re looking for a system to use for lyrics and sermon slides, you can get into a Mac Mini, plus Keynote and ProPresenter for a little over $1,000. Add to that the monitors you have laying around and a USB keyboard and mouse (we are using – for now – a Microsoft keyboard and mouse… I like the irony) – and you’ve got yourself a great little system!